PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A controversial bill that would end concealed carry permits in Pennsylvania is gaining momentum in the state legislature. It’s also drawing heavy criticism from gun control advocates.
This proposed bill would amend the law so Pennsylvania residents who are at least 21 years old to skip the permit process and conceal their firearms by right.READ MORE: Crash Involving SEPTA Bus, 4 Vehicles In Philadelphia's Cobbs Creek Neighborhood
But not everyone is on board with this proposal, including law enforcement in Philadelphia.
“These people have already went through the exact same exact in background checks when they purchased that weapon so they would not need to go through those same background checks again,” Republican State Rep. Aaron Bernstine said.
House Bill 659, also known as Constitutional Carry, would make it easier for Pennsylvania residents to legally carry or conceal a handgun without a permit.
So far, the bill is advancing. It passed the House Judiciary Committee on May 25.
Bernstine is the main sponsor of the bill.READ MORE: Woman Facing Arson Charges After Allegedly Intentionally Setting Fire At Howard Johnson Hotel In Blackwood
“It makes sure that law-abiding citizens do not have an additional burden to go through in order to get their permit,” he said.
Philadelphia’s gun violence crisis continues to rage on, but Bernstine says this bill is for law-abiding citizens, not criminals.
“This isn’t a situation where we’re talking about law-abiding citizens. The violence in Philadelphia is done by criminals, and criminals are never going to abide by the law because, by nature, they are lawbreakers,” Bernstine said.
But Philadelphia Sheriff Rochelle Bilal believes this bill would intensify the city’s violence.
“How would you be able to tell who can legally carry a gun and who can’t if you eliminate a permit to carry a concealed weapon? Do you want everybody walking around the streets with guns?” Bilal said.
Bilal says there needs to be more gun laws, not less.MORE NEWS: Taste With Tori: Wake Coffee Roasters' Unique Way Of Selling Coffee Makes All Extra Happy In Morning
“Tell the Republicans to stop the nonsense. That don’t even make sense,” Bilal said.